On January 28, 1813, Thomas Egerton of London published Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” The opening line, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife,” is probably Austen’s most quoted sentences. It sets the tone for a book that has clearly stood the test of time. If you are a fan or interested in celebrating two hundred years of "Pride and Prejudice," there are a number of exciting options available.
The Philadelphia Free Library has a full day of celebrations planned – films, lectures, a salon, and theatrical performances of scenes from the novel. You can follow the events on twitter at @DigitalMrDarcy.
The Jane Austen Center in Bath, England is holding a read-a-thon of the novel. It’s being webcast via their website. The reading is expected to take twelve hours.
At Goucher College in Maryland, today marks the opening of a six month special, self-guided exhibit. The College has a significant collection of rare Jane Austen works, donated by Henry and Alberta Hirscheimer Burke. The collection includes three first editions, valued at $75,000 each.
Last week, the BBC filmed its version of the Netherfield Ball at Chawton House, a Hampshire Manor that once belonged to Edward Austen, Jane’s brother. Fans will recognize the Netherfield Ball as the site of a key encounter between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. The events of the BBC ball will be broadcast on BBC 2, "Pride and Prejudice: Having A Ball at Easter."
On February 21, 2013, the UK Mail is releasing a set of six stamps honoring Jane Austen. You can order your own set of first day issues.
Every day is a good day to watch the classic BBC mini series version of "Pride and Prejudice" starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.
Even better, download a free copy of "Pride and Prejudice" today from Project Gutenberg or another site and start your own journey to the Netherfield Ball.